P. Orr & Sons showroom, Madras, from an album of photographs - ROM2014_14388_4


P. Orr & Sons showroom, Madras, from an album of photographs

Maker: Unknown photographer
Medium:albumen print mounted on album page
Geography: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Date: c. 1891
Period: British colonial
33 x 82 cm
Object number: 2006.95.1.4
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
Not on view
DescriptionP. Orr & Sons started with two Scotsmen Peter Orr and George Gordon who started a partnership company at Broadway in Chennai in 1849. When Gordon retired, Peter Orr carried the business under his name. It was in 1863 when Peter Orr's two sons, James and Robert, became business partners. In 1879, P. Orr & Sons moved into a location on Mount Road in central Madras where a version of the business (now run by an Indian owner) still extists. The buildings were designed by R. F. Chisholm and the interior decorated by art school students under his direction. The company sold precious metals and jewelry, and in the 1850s they hired students from the newly-established School of Arts and Crafts and became well-known for ornaments and jewelry with European and Indian designs. By the 1890s, they were able to supply a wide range of products, from Ecclesiastical furniture, gas engines, and items for the ladies' Toilet. Anything in metal could be manufactured there, including surveying equipment and guns. Besides dealing in clocks and watches from Britain, France, and Switzerland, the company mnufactured bicycles and was also an agent for certain automobile companies. They were also the largest diamond dealers in Southern India. With India's ban on imports after Independence in 1947, the company marketed only Indian watches.
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